A Writer’s Frustrations

19 Jul

I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. I’m not really sure why, but the nights have brought me a lot of tossing and turning with a side of mind-racing. Perhaps it’s because it’s that time of year that makes me anxious. What once was a summer of potential and possibilities is now a summer half-over with not nearly enough accomplished. Perhaps it’s just because I’ve had a lot on my mind. Whatever the cause, last night’s musings centered on things both philosophical and literary. I’m a little too confused angry indignant confuddled everything to tackle the philosophical today, so instead I’ll focus my energies on the literary. Specifically, my writing.

Finishing my novel was something that was on my summer bucket list (an update on that list will happen on a later date). Suffice it to say that, like always, my novel has been sidetracked, and, like always, I’m frustrated about that. It seems like there’s always something. First it was getting into my graduate program. Then it was getting through my son being a newborn. Then it was getting my teaching license. Then it was finding a job. Then it was surviving my first year of teaching. Now it’s finishing my graduate program. The list is never-ending.

I can’t help but wonder if it’s supposed to be this hard. If I’m going about this “being a writer” thing all wrong. All of my reasons for not writing seem like valid ones at the time, but it’s not as though I’m the only writer to have ever had priorities in life. Hell, I read somewhere Stephanie Meyer wrote Twilight late at night while bouncing her babies on her lap. Now the  quality of writing that is Twilight is not what I am aspiring to, but still. The girl got it done. I can’t seem to function that way. I try to stay up at night to work on my writing and find myself dosing off with my head on the keys. I try to write while Child is playing, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to say to him, “No, Jack, Mommy can’t help you build that ‘super cool tower’ right now because she’s writing.” So do I get much done? Absolutely not. It seems like time alone in the house (or Child’s nap time) is the only time that I can get any real writing done. And, of course, that’s also the only time I can really get any work on my master’s done, or whatever the excuse of the day is.

The novel I’m writing is a novel loosely based on my experience starting a new school in the midst of sixth grade. It’s been my dream to write this story for as long as I can remember (or at least since sixth grade). It’s inspired by Anne and Jo and Betsy and Margaret and Willa and Anastasia and all the other characters I treasured as friends who showed me that I was not alone in my girlhood frustrations. I feel like it’s a part of my existence and that until I finish it then I am somehow incomplete myself. I have the bulk of the plot worked out in my head, and the words come easily when I sit down to put them to paper (er…screen?). I just need to find the time to finish it before I self-destruct and implode.

Now the summer’s not over yet, and I only have 1.5 weeks of my graduate program left. So there’s still time for me to at least make very good progress on my novel before the start of school. But I’m going into that last month of summer with less accomplished than I had hoped, which is never a good feeling. Still, if I know nothing else it’s that life is fleeting and opportunities must be seized when they arise. So before life gets any more crazy, I’m going to find a way to spend August doing what I need to do. What I think I was born to do. There’s just no other option.

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